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Masse wins women's 100m backstroke at Canadian swimming trials

Canada's Kylie Masse admits she had some self-doubt with her swimming performances at times over the last year or two.

Returning to the approach used in her early days in the sport has helped get her back in top form.

Masse delivered a stellar performance on Wednesday night at the Olympic & Paralympic Trials, winning the women's 100-metre backstroke in 57.94 seconds.

"I swim better when I'm relaxed," she said. "That goes full circle to [earlier] in my career when I was just relaxed and enjoying it, racing, and being with my friends."

WATCH | Recapping Day 3 at swimming trials, and what to know for Day 4:

Masse secured her spot on the team for the Paris Games with the top-two finish. Ingrid Wilm of Calgary was second in 59.31 — over a half-second inside the Olympic qualifying time — to lock up the other berth in the discipline.

Masse, from LaSalle, Ont., won bronze in her Olympic debut in 2016. She earned her first world title a year later and set a world record at the same time.

At the Tokyo Games in 2021, Masse took silver in the 100 and 200 backstroke and added bronze in the 4x100 medley relay.

Despite the success, the pressure and expectations had an impact. In 2022, Masse relocated to Spain for training and tried to work on her tendency to "hyper-fixate" on weaknesses in her skillset.

"I feel a lot more settled now so I'm happy," she said.

WATCH | Trio of swimmers qualify for Paris in 100m backstroke at trials:

Masse, 28, raced like it in front of an adoring crowd at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. She was the only swimmer to record a sub-60 second time (58.27) in the morning preliminary session.

Masse went over a quarter-second faster in the evening final, going under the 58-second mark for the first time